What lies between uninstaller and antivirus

There is good software that doesn’t mind being uninstalled. Decent uninstaller is all you need.

There is bad malware that doesn’t even have uninstall option. Sweep with antivirus or two usually handles that.

But sometimes app is decent but so bloated and struggling to stay in your system that getting rid of it becomes a problem. Luckily after few millions of complaints developers of such release special removal tools for their products. It’s not widely known so here I am spreading info.

Before using

General protocol for these is :

  1. Uninstall or try to uninstall in regular way.
  2. Run removal tool.

Removal tools often refuse to run if app is still installed. In case uninstall is not working you have to remove uninstall entry first. Revo Uninstaller handles that easily.


Also don’t forget to write down serial keys if you want to reinstall later, they are going to be wiped from registry.

Norton Removal Tool (SymNRT)

Symantec is really well known for sticking their products wherever they can. It’s business for them but for users getting rid of this stuff gets boring quickly.


Nice straightforward removal tool. Handles ton of products including old ones. Comes in two versions for Windows 98 or later.

Download http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/sharedtech.nsf/docid/2006050909471013

Nero Clean Tool

Nero is probably most known software for CD-burning. Also most known example of software bloat. It went a long way from light burning utility to giant software bundle that almost rivals Windows itself in size.

Removal tool handles most of Nero products. It prompts for manual selection of directory to cleanup but tries to search for items to remove on its own as well.

Side note - check out my post on CDBurnerXP, it is everything Nero stopped being.

Download ftp://ftp6.nero.com/tools/General-CleanTool.zip

Nokia PC Suite Cleaner

Nokia is world largest mobile phone manufacturer. Connecting their phones to computers is handled by unified PC Suite software. It got better and more stable in last versions but still it puts a lot of stuff and drivers in the system which may cause problems.


I hadn’t opportunity to test latest version (lucky me) but previous ones saved me from drivers trouble few times.

Download http://nds1.nokia.com/files/support/global/phones/software/Nokia_PC_Suite_Cleaner_7_0_1.exe

PC Decrapifier

This one is bit different. It comes from 3rd party developer and instead of targeting specific products tries to uninstall whole bunch of apps that usually come pre-loaded on new PCs. It is also written in AutoIt which is not very relevant but shows amount of stuff you can code in that language.


Not really designed for cleaning up overused PCs but perfect for new ones.

Download http://www.pcdecrapifier.com/files/pc-decrapifier-2.0.0.exe


Most of removal tools are portable. Or at least create much less garbage than remove. :) Not something needed daily but it’s better to know about them than not.

Know a removal tool worth adding to list? Share the knowledge in the comments.

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  • Itsme #

    The Norton uninstaller is much improved over the one they had a few years ago. Without the uninstaller it can be impossible to remove Norton then reinstall it. Even with the uninstaller from the past some manual cleanup was still required. I used the Norton uninstaller about a year ago and it worked well without any manual cleanup. My question is why do they distribute it as a separate product. Why not just have it run automatically as part of the uninstall process. Or even better, why not write an uninstaller that works.
  • Rarst #

    >Or even better, why not write an uninstaller that works. Can be generalized as "Why won't everyone write good software?". :) Some can't, some don't want to... Thanks for your visit and comments, Itsme. :)